Vic­to­ria’s Covid re­stric­tions ease as Daniel An­drews re­veals 25km travel bub­ble and scraps ex­er­cise time limit

The Guardian Australia - - Front Page - Lisa Cox

Mel­bourne’s 5km travel ra­dius will ex­pand to 25km from mid­night un­der eased re­stric­tions an­nounced by the state’s pre­mier Daniel An­drews.

From 11.59pm on Sun­day, res­i­dents of the city who have been un­der lock­down for more than 100 days will be able to travel up to 25km for ei­ther ex­er­cise or shop­ping.

The city’s two-hour time limit for ex­er­cise and so­cial­is­ing will also be scrapped and groups of up to 10 peo­ple from two house­holds will be per­mit­ted to gather out­doors.

Hair­dressers and out­door sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing ten­nis courts, golf cour­ses and skate parks will re­open, and out­door real es­tate auc­tions will recom­mence.

Sev­eral changes were also an­nounced for re­gional Vic­to­ria, where two adults and two chil­dren will now be per­mit­ted to visit a home and hos­pi­tal­ity venues can in­crease the num­ber of pa­trons to 70 peo­ple out­side and 40 peo­ple in­side.

An­drews said on Sun­day Vic­to­ri­ans had done “an amaz­ing job” dur­ing months of ex­tended lock­down.

“What it means is that as so many cities across the world head into what is go­ing to be a deadly win­ter, we in Mel­bourne and across Vic­to­ria are wellplaced to have a Covid-safe sum­mer and a Covid-nor­mal 2021,” he said.

Re­stric­tions to ease even fur­ther on 1 Novem­ber

There will be fur­ther eas­ing of re­stric­tions in both Mel­bourne and re­gional Vic­to­ria from 11.59pm on Sun­day 1 Novem­ber.

From that date, Mel­bourne res­i­dents will be per­mit­ted to leave their homes for any rea­son, re­tail will re­open, hos­pi­tal­ity venues will re­open with lim­its on the num­ber of pa­trons, and two adults and two chil­dren will be able to visit another home once per day.

An­drews said if it was pos­si­ble to make some of those changes safely be­fore that date, the gov­ern­ment would con­sider it.

The state an­nounced another day of sin­gle fig­ures for new Covid-19 cases on Sun­day, with two cases recorded and no deaths.

An­drews hits back af­ter fed­eral MPs pile on pre­mier

An­drews took aim at fed­eral gov­ern­ment MPs, in­clud­ing the health min­is­ter Greg Hunt, who have been crit­i­cal of the state’s ap­proach and called for a re­open­ing in line with con­di­tions in New South Wales.

“I don’t ac­cept that any­body has a more com­plete pic­ture of what this virus is do­ing in Vic­to­ria than the Vic­to­rian chief health of­fi­cer, the Vic­to­ria deputy chief health of­fi­cer, the Vic­to­rian health min­is­ter and the Vic­to­rian pre­mier,” he said.“My po­si­tion to the Vic­to­rian com­mu­ni­ties but I’m not do­ing what is pop­u­lar, I am do­ing what is safe. Be­cause we don’t want to be back here again.”

Mel­bourne’s rolling 14-day case av­er­age dropped to 7.5 on Sun­day, down 0.6 from Sat­ur­day.

Changes in Mel­bourne from 19 Oc­to­ber

There will be no time limit on leav­ing your home for ex­er­cise or so­cial­is­ing.

The travel dis­tance from your home will move from 5km to 25km for ex­er­cise and shop­ping.

Out­door gath­er­ings will in­crease to 10 peo­ple from two house­holds.

The fol­low­ing set­tings will be open, sub­ject to Covid-safe con­di­tions: ten­nis courts, skate parks, golf cour­ses. Hair­dressers will re­open.

Real es­tate auc­tions will oc­cur with a max­i­mum of 10 peo­ple and com­mer­cial real es­tate inspection­s can oc­cur.

Out­door pools can host 30 swim­mers. In­door pools can open up for one-on-one hy­drother­apy with a health pro­fes­sional.

The fol­low­ing will be al­lowed, sub­ject to con­di­tions: non-es­sen­tial out­door home main­te­nance, re­pairs, ren­o­va­tions and house paint­ing can oc­cur with a max­i­mum of five work­ers.

Solo or au­to­mated car wash­ing and

pool clean­ing will be al­lowed, mo­bile or home business pet groom­ing will be al­lowed, out­door photograph­y will be al­lowed, and there will be a full re­turn of al­lied health ser­vices.

Changes in re­gional Vic­to­ria from 19 Oc­to­ber

Two adults and two chil­dren will be able to visit a home.

Hos­pi­tal­ity venues can in­crease their ca­pac­ity to 70 peo­ple out­side and 40 peo­ple in­side.

Out­door re­li­gious gath­er­ings will in­crease to 20 peo­ple.

In­door pools will open for peo­ple 18 and un­der to a max­i­mum of 20 peo­ple.

One-on-one hy­drother­apy with health pro­fes­sion­als will also be al­lowed.

Li­braries and toy li­braries will re­open to a max­i­mum of 20 peo­ple.

House­holds will now be able to visit a care fa­cil­ity, rather than one per­son vis­it­ing at a time.

Pre­mier Daniel An­drews an­nounces the eas­ing of some re­stric­tions on Sun­day, say­ing Vic­to­ri­ans had done ‘an amaz­ing job’ dur­ing months of coro­n­avirus lock­down. Pho­to­graph: Dar­rian Traynor/Getty Images

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